Book Review – The Life Lucy Knew

Book Review for The Life Lucy Knew

Even though this is Karma Brown’s fourth novel, I would still consider her a new author as her first book was only published in 2015. I read her first novel, Come Away With Me, and I didn’t love it. However, let me say that it was still an outstanding first novel.

I have also read The Choices We Make, which was a very gripping and very raw book. When you read about Karma Brown’s life, you will see that there are some symmetries between that book and her own real life experiences, which probably explains how emotional of a read it was.

Her most recent book, The Life Lucy Knew, is my favourite book of hers so far. I really liked the characters, I liked the fact that Lucy was forced to live in the present while still trying to sort through her past (both the real one and the one she fabricated). I also really liked that the novel was set in Toronto – honestly, that doesn’t happen too often and it was cool to be able to picture different locations or immediately understand the vibe of their life.

Interestingly enough, most people who reviewed or rated this book didn’t like it as much as her other novels so I am trying to figure out why it resonated with me so much. It was a love story, but almost a practical one and I certainly am a lover of practicality! Lucy and her boyfriend were forced to go back through their relationship to try and rekindle what they had before her accident, and it was a practical assessment of what they liked about each other, what they had accomplished together, etc. And really…wouldn’t it be kind of nice to be able to fall in love with the person you want to be with twice?

This book also covers grief, but in a different way. Lucy isn’t grieving a person she loved, but is griefing the life she thought she knew. As with any kind of loss, she experiences anger, frustration and sadness while trying to make sense of what’s happened.

I have a feeling that another Karma Brown book won’t be far behind, which is great news. She certainly is a great storyteller and a good writer.  While offering lots of character development, I don’t find she over compensates by layering on too many details – I don’t like pages and pages of details so her style works for me. In a way, I find her writing similar to Kristin Hannah’s work.

If you’ve read Karma Brown’s books, which one is your favourite?


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